tv Washington Journal CSPAN October 19, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT
we will speak to jonathan turley who argues that the electoral college is irrelevant. alan simpson will defend the electoral college. ♪ .host: morning and welcome to "washington journal." the republican and democratic presidential candidate's head into a final weekend of preparation ahead of monday night's foreign policy debate. bob will moderate the final matchup of the candidates and florida. we will talk about farm policy and the campaign 2012 later this morning. but first, president obama and
mitt romney met in a different setting. were jokes and wit replaced the seriousness of the campaign. here are the numbers to call -- republicans 202-585-3881. democrats -- 202-585-3880. independence -- 202-585-3882. send us a tweet by writing you can send us a tweet @cspanwj. our question for you this morning is -- how important is a sense of humor and a presidential candidate? it is inappropriate time and place? how much does it run true to you? let us look at coverage of the dinner last night. obama and romney go for laughs.
switching from -- switching to jokes. they set aside an evening to make fun of themselves and each other. let us take a look at one of the clips. president obama at last night's dinner. [video clip] >> i have heard some people say, barack, you are not as young as you used to be. where's the peck and your stop? and i say, settle down. i am trying to run a cabinet meeting.
he doesn't smile when he says it though. tomorrow, it is back to campaigning. two cities and towns across our great country. under the same thing everywhere i go. -- i hear the same thing everywhere i go. and i admit sometimes it can be a grind. sometimes it feels like this race has dragged on forever. but paul ryan assured me we had only been running for two hours and 50 something minutes. [applause] of course, the economy is on everybody's minds. the unemployment rate is at the slowest of all since it took office. i do not have a joke here. i just thought it would use all to remind everybody. we will take a look with governor romney said in a few moments. we are asking what you think
about a candidate's sense of humor. how important is it to you? we go to a democratic caller. caller: good morning. i am glad you got my call. i just want to say that i think that it is a great atmosphere that obama and mitt romney showing a sense of humor at this time. you see them go at each other on their debates. it is good for them to crack and a joke at each other while they have a chance before the last big debate. and i want the both of them -- i think we all should put out prayer's for them. doing what they are doing. and they need to give up a good job with a sense of humor so they can be elected.
host: do you ever think that it goes too far? caller: as far as the host: humor? host: yes. caller: no. i do not think it should go too far. i am sure the both of them are feeling something in their own parts about it. that it could with them, between them. but we know what is going to go on. host: our next caller from illinois. let us see if we can get her. hello? i think we lost that call. let us go to the "new york times."
that is referring to the last debate. let us take a listen to mitt romney last night at the dinner. [video clip] >> you are right. a campaign can require a lot of a wardrobe changes. blue jeans in the morning. suits for a fund-raiser. a sport coat for dinner. it is nice to finally relax and where what we wear our around the house. [laughter] glad to be-- i am abl able to join in this tradition. we were talking tonight as it
tuesday night never happened. [laughter] and i credit that to the cardinal. it is taken him to get us back on our best behavior. i was hoping the president would bring joe biden along this evening. because he will laugh at anything. [laughter] that is met romney at last night's dinner. our question for you this morning is whether a sense of humor matters and a candidate? in maryland on the democrat's line. good morning. caller: good morning. you are a great host. i love listening to you and the morning. i am on my way to work. i believe it is important to have a very good sense of humor but to keep in mind that -- there are some serious problems and these are some serious times. but in the end, as americans, we
are always going to solve problems and work hard to do our best and be our best. is good to have a sense of humor. host: thank you for your call. edmund rights and on , it does break the tension and give us a break -. and tom says -- it sometimes helps to create and narrative of your opponent. i remember any bush reverses a gore debate when the bush give gore and not any smile when he invaded his base. -- invaded his space. next call. california. good morning. what do you think about a sense of humor? caller: i think it is important. i think matt romney overdid it. and what up to the president way too much. that is what i think.
host: how, one man can make the jokes but not the other? was the tone of? the comments? caller: i think mitt romney did a good job overall. but obama was hilarious. there are a lot of his dinners where he just really knocks it up. host: did it humanize mitt romney for you? caller: i already see him as a human. so not really. host: kathleen writes -- next call, democrat from louisiana. caller: i watched this last night when it came on. i know that they did right -- i know someone else wrote these
things. but i agree with the caller that just called and. about governor romney. you know, he took too many shots at president obama. i thought president obama's jokes were better. host: arkansas. joining us now on our line for democrats. what do you think? how important is humor? caller: i think -- they have both been a very, very funny. they both said god bless america. and that is where america is. we have to have a god bless. host: thank you. you are sick, and from mary on twitter.
-- here is a comment from a marry on twitter. caller: i really enjoyed it last night. host: had you seen the candidates like that before? caller: no. i am a first-time voter. i am going to vote for obama. i blame congress. i do not blame him. i think he is done a great job. when i became terminally ill, he was there for me. becamehim -- i. terminally ill during the bush administration. but i was taken care of. i am for him. host: does he ever go too far? is it appropriate to of humor and a serious time in your life any serious time for the
nation's advancement? caller: i think it is. even when the doctor told me i was going to die -- i said do you have something for pain? it is important that we have that humor. it is a lot better than not having it, right? instead of arguing all the time. i enjoyed it i really did. host: let us go to david and wisconsin on our line for independents. caller: hello. i guess as i am watching this -- there is something inside me that wonders, is this all are we actually seeing humanity out of these people? i do not know if we are really seeing the person there. it is all scripted. it is all part of running a race. really has nothing to do with who they are or what they will
do. they are playing a political game. host: how would you get to the real man? how would you find who that is? caller: i do not think they are wired that way. their politicians. their goal is to win. so, i do not think you would. i do not think the public is going to. host: what about when you hear the wives make jokes? the set of personality? caller: some. i guess they are certainly not exempt from being a politician. but they probably have some other goals in mind than winning the race. to comment on twitter --
a good humored nature is a welcome a trade in anyone. a recent story looking at how presidential candidates use humor to connect with voters. eugene and louisiana on our line for republicans. a sense of humor, does it matter to you? caller: i think it always matters. way too far.e it awa when people are buying for the presidency, i think leadership should always be seen and respected. when you have the two presidential candidates making fun of each other, then you
often wonder what to expect the public to do, given the time when that person gets into office. how much respect will they get after they have been caught making fun of each other. one of the things that you see more and more -- it seems that people disrespect leadership. and make a lot of jokes. and i think it comes from doing this publicly before one another. host: what about when they put themselves under the microscope and make fun of themselves? caller: i think they do that because they expect that people expect that. and contrary to that, there's a time when you have to be [unintelligible]
do not make fun of each other. not in times like these and not publicly. host: on twitter -- a sense of humor is best when it is one's self he can make fun of the best. also timing is key to. [video clip] >> this is the third time that gov. romney and i have met recently. as some of you may notice i had a lot more energy in the second debate. i was very well rested after the ninth -- not that i had in the first debate -- after the nice long nap that i had in the first debate. it turns out that millions of americans focused in on the second debate that did not
focus and on the first debate, and i happened to be one of them. i want to apologize to chris matthews, four years ago -- this time around i gave him a stroke. of course, there are a lot of things i learned from that experience. i learned that there are worse things that can happen t you on your anniversary and forgetting to buy a gift. host: that is president obama last night at the dinner. we are asking you if a sense of humor matters and a presidential candidate. on our line for democrats, edward. caller: i appreciate your show. i just wanted to mention that when he mentioned the uninsured,
the poor, it was really wonderful and it touched my heart. and i thought both men -- i like obama's humility. i think he is a smarter man. i think he has done more for the country but has been held back by the republican congress. i think the republican congress has done a great bit of damage. thank you for letting me speak. host: what did you think of governor romney? caller: he turned me off. i think he is a false manner. i do not trust him. i want to speak to the moment when you is asked a question of the last debate of what you do about returning jobs from china. he did not respond. he said he would play by the rules. that doesn't mean he is going to
be letting china off the talk. -- wedding china off the hook. mitt romney did not answer the question. but he did say an awful lot. t st: did you get a differen sense of romney last night, joking about the president, joking about joe biden who got a lot of jobs throughout the night. did that give you a different perspective? caller: not at all. but was scripted. as one of your other callers said. i do not trust the man. if people paid attention to what he has said in the past and what he is saying now, he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. new york times -- me
here is have the story opens. president obama and mitt romney may finally have found something i could agree on a during the thursday night 67 and will charity dinner. they joke about joe biden. anita on our line for republicans, what do you think? caller: i think it is in the great american history to have a sense of humor.
it goes back to the time of president eisenhower. it is for a terrific cause. it really does put a spotlight on how wonderful our system of government is. and how the american tradition is. the two candidates who are so intense of on the campaign trail can find the rest here and display a sense of humor. i thought there were both terrific. i am a mitt romney supporter, but i am not an obama heater. this is not a time to express policy. it is terrific. it is so humorous. it is the american tradition. i believe it is part of the reason why we can transfer power so peacefully every four years or eight years. it is just part of the fabric of being an american. a sense of humor. it is a fabulous thing to have
a. i think they are both great. i enjoyed it thoroughly. a break away from all of the nastiness. i thought it was great. i look forward to it every time it occurs. host: have you heard the candidates like this before? caller: these particular candidates -- not really. i know it has been a grueling campaign. but this is the way that they do it. i watched the last one with mccain and obama. and previous to that, bush and doogore. it is amazing to watch. beckham stop in the midst of such attention and have a -- they can stop in the midst of such tension and show a sense of humor.
as a lot of fun. and in the american tradition, it is for a great cause. what more can you ask for? thank you for broadcasting it. host: thank you for your phone call. vie twitter -- free speech is a wonderful thing. use #cspan2012. but us listen to more of mitt romney at last night's dinner. [video clip] >> the debates are very exciting. just the other night we had a very fine debate. candy crowley was there. but people seem to be very curious as to how we prepare for the debates. let me tell you what i do. first, refrain from alcohol for 65 years. second, find the biggest available strong demand and attack him.
big bird did not see it coming. in the spirit of sesame street, the presidential remarks are brought to you by the number o and the number $16 trillion. [laughter] [applause] campaigns can be a grueling, exhausting. president obama and i are lucky to have one person who is always in our corner. someone who we can always lean on. someone who is a comforting presence. i have my beautiful wife. he has a bill clinton. [laughter] we got a big dose of the biden
charm last week. i am not sure that all of that carrying on had quite the effect that biden intended. after words i heard from the federal election commission. from now on, whenever he appears on tv there's a recording of me afterwards that says, i am mitt romney and i approve this message. rules of fairness have to be enforced. because what other safeguard do we have a besides the press. host: governor romney at last night's al smith dinner. a tradition for the candidates to go and make jokes at their own expense and poking fun at their rivals. we are asking you whether you think a sense of humor is important in a presidential candidate. let us go to traci in tennessee on our line for democrats. caller: yes.
[unintelligible] host: what did they have? caller: they had mitt romney's name before the president's name. caller: why did they want him to have a one-term presidency? they have the candidate name and then obama name. and biden name. i do not understand that. host: we will talk more about voting later on. about the electoral college and how that plays out. we will talk about campaign 2012 later on. right now we are focused on humor and a presidential
candidates. new york, independent line. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think it was a fun time. a fun evening. i did humanized both candidates. i think romney was funny. but he made more political points than obama. i thought obama was a little more middle of the road. i think it is a good thing. i think it humanized both guys. is a growing debate that these guys have been a growing -- 8 rolling in debate that these guys have been going through. i think he has a more credible plan. i also feel that mitt romney is wandering with no point for specifics. that concerns me. he doesn't seem to be credible.
host: do you feel you got to know candidate romney more? caller: i think he loves his family and loves his job. i never doubted that. he was funny. he did not write it. but he delivered it well. he is a gotcha kind of guy. that is how we seems to campaign geared i thought both of the candidates did well. they had a lot of fun with it. i think they both received each of the jokes well too. host: on twitter, this is not the time for humor. in the associated press --
how influential do you think humor is an candidate? it doesn't make a difference in how you think about them. richard on our line for republicans, good morning. what you think about sense of humor? caller: i think it is important and everybody and a presidential candidate, simply because, with all of the worry they will have any job, in a sense of humor to lighten things up -- dealing
with stress is important with any man who has been in business. a lot of democrats calling in this morning, they are taking a last night we too serious. the idea was supposed to be a relaxing, comedic presentation. professional comedians have writers. the fact that they wrote for president obama and mitt romney made the difference. it was delivered in a good humor, good taste. there were no nasty comments made. i think the whole purpose of the dinner and raising the money -- the good humor they both showed was an excellent idea. host: do see either of the candidates in a different light after this? caller: i have always thought that both of them were good men. humor is something that you of
not seen much from obama because of the nasty attack ads from the beginning. you cannot be a good father and a good husband and a good family member if you do not have a good sense of humor. i have children. you have to have a good sense of humor. president obama has two daughters, i know he has to have a sense of humor. host: thank you. clara is our next caller. calling from michigan. where are you in michigan? caller: not very far from indiana. host: i thought the humor was very good. there were not overboard. the one thing about romney is that he is not trustworthy.
host: what was your perspective on hearing and joke around? did that change your feelings about him? caller: and not really. i heard the debate on tuesday. he said that his a big thing is creating jobs in the united states. but then on wednesday, i saw a thing where bain capital closing down its plant in illinois. ann romney is a reserved shareholder of the bain capital. how is the -- and romney is a reserved shareholder and bain capital. host: let us limit tomorrow humor. this is from last night. instead of a being from the al smith dinner, an appearance by president obama on comedy central's the daily show with john stuart. [video clip] >> how many times a week does he
show up in a wet bathing suit to a meeting? >> we had to stop it. we have to put tiles down. but i have to say, he looks pretty good. >host: that is president obama n comedy central with jon storage. he also made comments about libya. we will look at where the candidates stand on foreign policy, foreign affairs and campaign 2012. for now, we are looking at humor. and what role you think plays. does it help or the track to the image you have of him? kentucky, on our line for independents. caller: my comment is but i do not really care for it. i think it just cheapens the issues. they are very serious to people
out your suffering. and it just strikes me as fodder for the rich and wealthy. what else do they have to do but laugh at all of us poor people at our expense. it is just indicative of our culture that does not care for one another. thank you. host: florida on our line for democrats, ana. caller: hello. i am really happy about seeing the democracy country. this is beautiful. a separate their feelings and get up and joke. that is beautiful. this is what america is. i loved it. and i think everyone should loved it. we have time that we cry. we have time that we have to laugh. it is beautiful. america is the most beautiful country and we are having fun at the same time.
id is so beautiful. no matter what happens, even if we laugh, we are still happy. this is the united states. i love it. thank you very much for that. host: jack republican caller is up next. caller: hello. i am a republican. i think a humor is very important in any aspect of light. it brings a lighter side to anything that might be considered serious down the road. i would like to thank for giving me the opportunity to express my opinion. sometimes politicians are like diapers and they need to be changed. thank you for putting me on the air. i hope you have a great day.
host: thank you. we heard from before ready and. floridian.- a reporting from miami -- polls suggest the race remains very tight for the state's prized 29 electoral college votes. and for the editorial board supports for the president. mitt romney. here is what it says -- mitt romney the highlight of these and other hard truths and this week's second debate. and they say that they are supporting governor romney. they say -- this is the orlando
sentinel, mitt romney is not our ideal candidate. and we get that from the front page of the "orlando centennial." polls show that obama is leading in wisconsin and iowa. the results from two key midwest battleground states. the contrast with the national surveys that show mitt romney gains. it shows the president has steady leads and wisconsin and iowa.
moving on to some other stories in the news. from campaign 2012 -- obama's speech comes down to one word -- vote. no fewer than half a dozen times obama has urged reporters to go to the polls. each time the criticizes mitt romney. he repeated -- don't boo. vote. that is news from the campaign trail. what is in at the presidential campaign unfolding -- we will see the candidates won more time debating the issues on monday night. c-span will bring that to you live a. one more story focused on president obama. this one from the "washington post." he is struggling to match the intensity of his campaign. it says that they are working
hard what the campaign is working hard -- the candidate is having a hard time closing the deal. they reflect on how he did four years ago purses and now. last night's candidates' debate from the intensity of the campaign trail. to tell some jokes. we would like to hear from you. what role do think humor plays in giving you an insight into the candidate for president? lana. hello. you are on. what you think about humor? caller: i think here is important. -- humor is important. [unintelligible]
i enjoyed the president even more. he took a lot of shots. and mr. romney stayed more political. [unintelligible] one caller said that he had a terminal elements. -- terminal illness. and he said that he got the help that he needs. i'd just want him to know that i am going to be a first-time voter. i know there is going to be a good report.
i am going to be praying for him. host: let us look at a couple more news stories. is talking, buts startin will voters tune it out? and here is a story about the convention that democrats held in charlotte a couple months ago. says dnc convention organizers broke their pledge to put on a gathering this year without corporate donations using $5 million from a committee financed by committees like bank of america, i duke energy and at&t.
to read the time warner arena for the three day event in charlotte. dnc chairman said they had it without special interest money. another story -- latino voters. post parties see them as the decider in three key states. -- both parties see them as the decider in three key states. that is looking at latino voters and their role. .n campaign 2012 let us look at another clip. governor romney. [video clip]
>> we are down to the final months of the president's term. as president obama surveys the waldorf banquet room, with everyone and white tie, you have to wonder what he is thinking. so little time. so much to redistribute. [laughter] and do not be surprised if the president mentions this evening in monthly jobs report that was a slight improvement in the numbers. he knows how to seize this moment. and has a compelling new campaign slogan. you are better off now than you were four weeks ago. host: that as gov. romney at last night's dinner. san diego, calif. on our line for democrats.
caller: i am a 30-year retired teacher. and primarily i worked with a second language learners. and the first thing i learned as that the most effective way is through humor. you can go beyond whatever situations are, but humor is the best way. songs. host: do you think that applies to the grown-ups as well as school kids? caller: i have been working every day.
it is just more important. i actually retired early so i could participate in the election of the president. if you do not have a sense of humor, we are all done. we really are. host: let us take a look at this in the washington post. the president enjoyed historic advantage among young voters and 2008. this year he isn't likely to win those voters by as wide a margi. comedy central look at what young voters want to cheer from a candidate. the report aired with true insight, an insight research, they say comedy is the most
effective way to reach them -- 60% say that. it shows that the candidate's sense of humor is important and fostering a connection with millennial voters. 62% like it when politicians use a sense of humor. over half say politicians need to loosen up. 55% want politicians to show their sense of humor often geared 54% agree if i hear a politician, the more likable he or she is. codified a real person? 33% -- how do they find a real person. 33% say an interview with a comedian. only 8% said a formal debate.
8% says an interview with a news anger. -- newa anchor. thelma on our line for republicans. caller: you see them in a different light. i thought it was wonderful. both of them did a good job. but i am for romney. host: have you seen him in that way before? caller: not really. i just laughed so hard last night. it was really funny. -- : on twiter -ter on our line for republicans, tamera, good morning.
can you hear us? you are on. caller: i am sorry. i am a canadian citizen. it is a great country. i am here and new york. obama did a great job. a sense of humor is a great thing. it is written by other people, but he made fun of himself and a lot of things. the other thing with romney is that -- was critical about obama. he was criticizing, more critical. you can tell it was written by someone who did not have a sense of humor.
but obama did a great job. i think he is a great guy. host: there definitely were some barbs and the joke last night. jacksonville, fla., on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. i am down here in jacksonville. i am an aggressive political cartoonist. it progressive. even the republicans like the work. some of these things are very aggressive toward the republicans. i think that is what we should be doing. being more aggressive. there like the work, they just do not like the jokes. mitt romney -- both presidents were good. but met romney, i did not see
him laugh. i just see this guy who was a cold hearted rich boy. he doesn't know what it is like to be anybody like us. host: it sounds like how a president reacts to humor is just as important to you as what they say? caller: yes. ronald reagan is going to be remembered for that forever. he had a great sense of humor. host: a comment on twitter. however says a sense of humor is very important. obama often makes me laugh. he has a great delivery. here is what john says -- having a good writers is not the same as having a sense of humor. thank you for all your calls, coming up next we will. campaign 2012 and a foreign- policy.
where the candidates stand. and later on jonathon turley of george washington university law school. we will be right back. ♪ ♪ >> i have to be honest with you. i love these debates. these things are great. and i think it is interesting that the president still doesn't have an agenda for a second term. do not you think that it is time for him to finally put together a vision of what he will do next four years if he is elected?
he has to come up with this over the weekend. there is only one debate left. >> let us recap what we learned last night. his tax plan doesn't add up. jobs.lan doesn't create deficit deduction plan adds to the deficit. everybody here has heard of the new deal, the fair deal, the square deal, mitt romney is trying to sell you a sketchy deal. >> watch and engage as president obama and mitt romney meet in their final debate. moderated by bob schieffer. our debate previous starts at 7:00 p.m., followed by the debate at 9:00 p.m. and your reaction at 10:30. all live on c-span, c-span radio and online at c-span.org.
>> i think mr. nixon as an effective leader of his party. i hope you would grant me the same year the question before us is, which point of view, and which party do we want to leave the united states? >> mr. nixon, would you like to comment? >> in the constitution, it had in mind that we would deliver it, that we would elect officials based upon a reasoned argument. you cannot argue against the image. and the image is just that. and you ought to color it with an image. but in a world with a whole lot of problems in the world and a whole lot of problems in the country, argument house to dominate. but doesn't when it is on television. presidentialry of debates. an c-span 3 american history tv. >> "washington journal" continues.
host: we are talking about foreign policy and campaign 2012 with mattew lee, a state correspondent for the associated press. and guy taylor, the state department correspondent at the "washington times." whereby to start by talking about libya. president obama was on a daily show last night with jon stewart, japan had serious, it is talking about -- he had serious comments. >> part of the investigation, helping communication between its divisions of a not just what happened in benghazi, but what happened -- it was not the optimal response. at least to the american people as far as all being on the same page. >> backwater of americans get killed -- it is not optimal. -- it four americans get killed
-- it is not optimal. we are going to fix it. the government is a big operation. at any given time, something screws up and you make sure you figure out what is broken and you fix it. whatever else i have done throughout the course of my presidency, one thing i have been clear about is america's security comes first, and the american people need to know exactly how i make decisions when it comes to war, peace, national security and protecting americans. they will continue to get that during the next four years of my presidency. host: president obama on the "daily show" last night. obama isile preseident a knowledge and there is a screw
up, he has not gone into detail about what the screw up was. i think he was asking, is it is corrupt and that the intelligence community, the white house did not have a clear communication with the community during or after the attack? or was it that security was not adequate enough to protect the lives of an american ambassador? host: mattew lee, you are an peru with clinton. clinton said i responsible for security. talk us through the chain of command. guest: i think the secretary was right to take responsibility. but the secretary works for the president. so when we are going to have a buck stops here moment, that will be with the president. there has been a lot of talk about how clinton was -- she was
trying to make herself look more presidential than the president. when you are the secretary of state and someone asks you about a failure to protect american diplomats abroad, you have to take respectability. what else do you say? it was not my fault. your take responsibility. it is her responsibility to protect diplomats abroad. i think both the president and secretary of state are correct to take responsibility. guest: i almost felt as though clinton's acknowledgment that -- taking responsibility was a trial balloon a story. hours later obama was in a debate and said i take responsibility. it is interesting how that played out. host: what about obama and romney. what does this show us about their broader philosophy?
guest: more than anything, from the romney campaign it shows they are more interested in being poised to attack than they are and try to explain what it is they would do differently. for more than a month now -- a wage that they can exploit. inobama's successful record a foreign policy. guest: both sides cannot very early on with statements that proved to be an opportune. mitt romney. the comments about the statement cairo.h both sides spoke too soon. it just shows the importance of getting our facts straight before you open your mouth.
guest: in terms of the way that the politics are playing out in the home stretch, before the election, that the romney campaign found themselves a little stuck behind the party. because lawmakers on capitol hill really amped up the volume on their criticism of the handling of this. in a way that i do not think benefited the mitt romney the campaign. host: if you would like to talk about campaign 2012, here are the numbers. republicans -- 202-585-3881. democrat -- 202-585-3880. and independents -- 202-585- 3882. we will dig into a bunch of foreign policy areas. and there will also square off on their foreign policy debate on monday night. the moderator has given a sense of what the questions will be. can watch the debate here on c- span monday. we have a debate hub on where
you can stream at and ketch clips -- and the catch clips of it. america's role in the world. and afghanistan and pakistan, which he calls our longest war. and red lines, israel and iran. host: matthew lee, do any of those stick out in your mind? guest: they're all important issues. as we see in this election season, all of them will play a role in the campaign and they should help differentiate if there really is a difference in the candidates. one thing that has become clear is that with the exception of some smaller issues, there is
not a lot of difference, or at least governor romney has not explained exactly what he would do differently in terms of dealing with a crisis in syria. so, i think the china issue -- governor romney has said he would come out strong or stronger on china than president obama. he has said some things about russia. in both those cases, he has tried to differentiate himself, and it would be interesting to hear the details of how he would act differently. host: guy taylor, differences and similarities? guest: at the end of the day, if mitt romney is in the white house, his foreign policy will not be that different. where he is different is in a
posture and narrative. they have tried to get behind the narrative of peace through strength, lifting from the ronald reagan playbook. there is a ronald reagan advertisement that ran in 1980 against jimmy carter, and if you were to listen to it now, you would think it was the romney camp complaining about obama on willing to stand up for america overseas. what you will see in the debate, though i do not have confidence around the will pull it off, but he will try to make -- that mitt romney will pull it off, but he will try to make the argument that the administration is the first since jimmy carter to abandon peace through strength. host: guy taylor has a piece in "washington times" recently.
guy taylor and matthew lee are our guests. let's get to the phones. arkansas. republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i am glad to be on c-span this morning. my question is not so much in regards to the big guys the incident as being a terrorist attack, -- benghazi incident as being a terrorist attack, because it was the engagement through military action. to me, a terrorist attack is on the civilian target designed to create fear in the civilian population. this was not that. this was an attack on our diplomatic corps and american sovereignty. the guest: there is a problem in that inherently it was a
civilian target. it was not a military target. i have to disagree on that. i think it meets the definition of a terrorist attack under whatever term. host: illinois. tom. democrats line. caller: this is for both gentlemen. i watched all of the debates. i am a democrat. i voted bullish onetime top -- george bush, one time, the first time. i understand where president obama is. he is not letting anyone drag us into more wars or settle conflicts, but he is willing to help in libya and other places. he turned it over to the u.n. and we lost four americans in libya. my question for mr. romney is is
he talking about going back into iraq? going into syria? getting ready to go to war with iran? is he ready to put boots on the ground? is that what he wants to different than the president, and if not, what is he willing to do besides readily saber? -- rattle a saber. guest: that is a good question. the romney camp would like some people to believe that yes, he is willing to pull the trigger. the problem is if you look at what he actually says and when you talk to his senior advisers, whether they are directly in the campaign or out on the periphery, they will not tell you exactly what he wants to do, which leads you to the conclusion that it is largely rhetoric and he wants to say we are going to be stronger.
i do not think it is mitt romney gets into the white house will pursue a war-based policy. guest: there is an old saying, foreign policy is like an aircraft carrier. you can change the capt., the captain can change the course, but it takes quite a bit of time to turn it in a different direction. guest: or messy bands like 9/11. guest: indeed, and what you see in the campaign is the romney campaign is trying to differentiate mitt romney, but once he is in the office, we would be hard-pressed to see real, significant changes in the way the policy of the united states is going. guest: unless there is some sort of event like a breakout of war in southeast asia -- highly not likely, but if something that is not foreseen happens, we do not
know what mitt romney is going to do. he is really expect -- inexperienced on foreign policy. he is about where obama was five years ago. comments's listen to that governor romney made at this past tuesday point of debate. [video clip] >> look what is happening in syria, egypt, now in libya. consider the differences between us and israel. we have iran four years closer to a nuclear bomb. syria is not just a tragedy of 30,000 civilians killed by the military, but a significant strategic player for america. the president's's policy began with a apology court. host: governor romney speaking
about around and syria and the middle east. matthew lee? guest: despite those comments, it is not clear to me what exactly mitt romney would do differently in syria, for example. he has talked about how it is important for the united states to play a role in who gets legal assistance, weaponry and ammunition, but that is what the obama administration is doing. his the governor saying the united states should actively -- is the governor said in the united states should actively supply the rebels with arms? if the answer is no, that is what the current administration put the policy is now. for him to make a distinction, he will have to be more specific. host: he also talked about israel. guest: a lot of this has come from well over one year of
campaigning where governor romney has tried very hard to show this closeness with israel and expose the obama administration for not having that closeness. we cannot sit here and pretend that has not had to do with fund-raising and also looking at jewish voters in florida and california, and hoping this message of closeness with israel would result in a campaign treasurer, campaign funds. host: vice president joe biden talk about israel and iran. [video clip] >> with regard to the united states taking action militarily, it is not in my purview to talk about classified information, but we feel confident we could deal a serious blow to the iranians. the israelis and the united
states military intelligence communities are in the same place in terms of how close the iranians are to getting a nuclear weapon. they are a good way away. there is no difference between our view and theirs. when my friend talks about material, they have to take this highly enriched uranium, get it from 20% up, then they have to put it in something. there is no weapon they have set this point. we will now if they start the process of building a weapon. all of this bluster, all of this loose talk, what are they talking about? are you talking about to be more credible? what more could the president do, stand before the united nations, tell the world come directly to indicate to the ayatollah, we will not let them acquire a nuclear weapon, unless he is talking about going to war.
host: matthew lee? guest: vice president joe biden brings up the question, what exactly does mitt romney want to do differently? the obama administration, like the bush administration, has pursue tough sanctions against iran at the un and it has succeeded. this the administration has also imposed harsh unilateral sanctions. these were passed by congress, but the administration went along with them and has implemented them. we see significant deterioration in the iranian economy, largely, or a least in part because of these sanctions. again, as the vice president said, and messiest talking about going to work, it is not clear what mitt romney would do differently. it is one thing to say i will rally the international community, get the russians and
chinese on board, but it is another thing to be able to do that in real life. host: richmond, virginia. matt, an independent scholar. caller: i am more worried about mitt romney channeling george w. bush and getting us into more wars. just saying it is rhetoric, i do not know that he is not going to support or. he is so close to benjamin netanyahu, they will let israel do whatever they want. host: guy taylor? guest: i think it is a legitimate concern. barack obama and joe biden ran on the message of getting the united states out of an unpopular and expensive occupation in iraq, and they have done it. it is hard for joe biden to say
we will get tough on iran, even though behind the scenes, they have actually been phenomenally tough on iran with this global embargo of iranian oil, crushing the economy in tehran. it is still difficult for them to come out and say we would do a military strike. i do not think mitt romney is going to go much further. as far as the concern, one of the players in the mitt romney advisory council, john bolton, adamantly supported going into iraq. the cat is a bet -- the catch is he has been kept at arm's length from mitt romney. the only thing mitt romney really wants to take from john bolton is association, friends among neo-conservative members
of the party, and also the message that america needs to talk it tougher talk. host: matthew lee, how closely are you watching the advisor as both candidates ed? guest: closely. they provide a view into what the administration might or might not do is the candidate is elected. mitt romney has surrounded himself with some advisers who are -- john bolton was mentioned. some of these people have taken more of a backseat role. there have been reports about divisions in the ranks of mitt romney's foreign policy advisers, and i think it will be a struggle for him to manage the hard core, or hard right, and neo-conservatives, with more
moderates in the republican party. people like richard lugar. guest: the james baker school of american foreign policy, it is ok to stand up and hold a big stick, but it is not all war- mongering. i do not think the romney camp has figured on a way to get behind that yet. host: doug in boston, massachusetts is a democrat. caller: romney seems enthusiastic about going into iran with the israelis, however is a war crime without a chapter 7 resolution. george bush was recently advised not to travel to switzerland because of the laws of jurisdiction.
guest: it would be an interesting question to hear responses from. i would point out it is not always a violation of international law to invade or attack a company without a chapter 7 resolution. there is the universal right of self-defense, but i remind the caller that if one country in invades the other, while that might not be legal, the country that is fighting back is not in violation of anything. host: matthew lee, you recently wrote a piece, "why it matters to israel to tell -- why it matters -- israel." how was this playing out. guest: i think mitt romney will try to expand on the idea that he brought up in the last debate, that president obama has tried to put distance between
the united states and israel. it is indisputable that there are arguments and divisions between the prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, and the policies the obama it administration would like to see, but they are not different from previous administrations. it has been u.s. policy, regardless of who the president is, since the truman administration, that the united states will stick up for israel and ensure its security in a dangerous neighborhood. the distance that governor romney is going to try to play up is the idea that benjamin netanyahu's government deserves the unqualified backing on domestic israeli policy as well this its policies toward the palestinians. it is correct in the sense that
the obama administration has been highly critical of the settlements, but let's keep in mind that george w. bush's father, president george h. w. bush had very much the same differences, and went a step further in criticism. host: virginia. murdoch. independence caller -- independent caller. caller: there is hundreds of years of history of this in the middle east. the british and other european nations at one. divided it up and kind of controlled it through occupation. the american policy has always been to support israel, but we do not look as -- at each individual nation as having
their own sovereignty, and we do not always support the leaders. the palestinian state is an important issue, but it has been a question for a very long time, and to ask one president to give a solution, an answer, that is just not fair. this is a 30-year, ongoing situation that seems to me, in my lifetime, started with beirut, and the gaza strip in the west bank. all middle eastern countries merge their, fought their words, america got involved, and it did not work. it seems the only thing we can do is try to help these countries find their own solutions, common ground, and understand that the middle east is basically a nation. it is not really independent countries. the border each other. they share common interests. we have to find common ground.
guest: thank you for the comment. you either sound like a libertarian or an obama supporter you brought palestine. if you looked at what has gone on in the last four years between the obama white house and the government in israel you will see that the devil is in the details. barack obama stood up at the united nations, two years ago, correct me if i'm wrong, and said the united states could not support palestine in achieving recognition at the united nations. this is down into the details of whether the u.s. stance with israel or not guest: -- or not. guest: he said he would not support without a peace deal
with israel, that is unless they go back to the negotiating table, the palestinians will not become a recognized state at the united nations. that has been a consistent theme through 5, six u.s. administrations. guest: mitt romney has weighed in on it, giving a speech last week, and he said he would support a two-state solution. again, this is not very elaborate. i think it is important to note that while mitt romney talks a big game about being a l.i. to israel, he is also embracing the rhetoric that the u.s. would support israel and palestine. host: i am reading from "the washington post, where governor romney said early on that u.s.
should stay in afghanistan until we get the job done. how is he tried to distance himself from president obama's game plan? guest: again, from what you just read, i do not see if there is a demonstrable difference. governor romney has criticized the administration for withdrawing u.s. troops from iraq to soon, thinking the residual force should have remained longer. let's remember, this is not just the united states. there are sovereign, independent countries with their own governments. if the iraqis or the afghans say thank you very much, but we do not want you hear any more, there is not a lot and the administration can do about it. again, the administration put the plan and that of all of the nato right now is to --
administration's plan and that of all of nato is to pull out combat troops by 2014, and it is not clear whether romney thinks that should be changed. host: let's listen to comments governor romney made recently about foreign policy. [video clip] >> in afghanistan, i will pursue a real and successful transition to afghan security forces by the end of 2014. president obama what have you believe that anybody who disagrees with his decisions in afghanistan is arguing for and was war, but the route to war and potential attacks at home is the time to retreat for the afghan people to the same extremists that ravaged the country and used it to launch attacks on 9/11. i will evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the advice of military commanders. host: that is governor romney leaned out foreign policy positions. guest: let me point out that if
that is exactly what the obama administration is saying. if governor romney thinks differently about how to prosecute or wind down the war in afghanistan, he did not show it in those comments. guest: this is true, however i think the argument the romney campaign is trying to make is how could the obama administration telegraph the exit strategy so far out from when it will take place? by doing that, as soon as the white house said we are getting out by 2014, european allies followed and said we are going to get out before that. i think that is what the romney camp is trying to hone in on. the second thing is clearly, our enemies inside of afghanistan, have no reason to negotiate because they know we are going to leave no matter
what happens. guest: all of this is true, but let's not forget this does not happen in a vacuum. the united states is in afghanistan with numerous other countries, and it was natal that agree to this idea of a 2014 withdrawal. the united states, it is not clear to me if the rest of the nato polls out on schedule, -- will the united states stay there all alone? will the afghan welcome a u.s. residual force? all of that is not clear. it is not just the united states involved, and not just what the president in washington says that is going to happen just because he says that is what is right to happen. host: here is a tweet where he says ronnie's plant is the same, but he just does not say it out loud.
let's look at president obama in this week's debate. [video clip] >> not everybody agrees with the decisions that i have made, but when it comes to national security, i mean what i say. i said i would end the war in libya -- in iraq, and i did. i said we would go after al- qaida and bin laden, and we have to read i said we would transition out of afghanistan, and that is what i'm doing. when it comes to this issue, when i say that we are going to find out exactly what happened, everybody will be held accountable, and i am ultimately responsible for what has taken place there, because these are my folks. i am the one that has to greet those coffins when they come home, you know that i mean what i say. host: let's go to the phones and hear from jean in maryland, talking about foreign policy and campaign 2012.
caller: i have a question about what i have heard so far on the program this morning, and that is to either of you gentlemen have anything really positive to say about what you have heard from the mitt romney policies that have emerged from the campaign? thank you. guest: absolutely. i sounded critical when i described the ronald reagan advertisement, but we need to look back and remember that after the end of eight years of ronald reagan the united states played a big hand in ending the cold war. the idea that there is a lack of positive leadership out of the obama white house is an anchor point for the around the campaign. if they are onto something there. my criticism, i'm still waiting
for mitt romney to tie the knot on that, and see if he can pull it off. i also do not want to take a direct position, because i am just a journalist. guest: i would add to that and say it is one thing to say you will project leadership, and another thing to actually do it and be successful doing it. the reference to ronald reagan, the advertisement he ran, i do not think anyone will argue that jimmy carter was a phenomenal american president, however let's not forget that he was responsible for one of the biggest successes in diplomacy for the united states post-world war two, and that was the peace deal between egypt and israel. although there is a lot to say- about president jimmy carter, he
was not an abject failure when it came to foreign policy. host: democratic caller. michigan. dorothy. caller: when i started watching the program this morning, my comment was to complement them both because they were showing balanced object to the about foreign policy, but my comment to mr. guy taylor, you lost me there. you cannot play both sides of the fence. mr. matthew lee, thank you for being balanced. my comment on the whole is to say one of the most disturbing things, and why the foreign policy debate is so important to me and i will watch it is because i am shaking as i talk right now. mr. romney and his rhetoric
scares me. the american people do not want to be in war anymore. we do not want more terrorism like 9/11 happening here in our home, and we support president barack obama again the direction he has taken these wars, and how he is handling it. we respect him for that. mr. matthew lee, thank you, sir, so much, for showing that balance there. mr. romney is going to talk with his rhetoric, maybe not into another war, but more incidents like 9/11, because he is stirring up the pot with his words. i am shaking and sweating right now about this topic. knock it off. the american people want peace, not only on our homeland but for the entire nation. host: we will leave it there, dorothy. guest: let me defend my
colleague. i've not heard anything that guy taylor has said that as been overtly partisan. thank you for the compliment, but i'm not sure either of us have displayed any bias here. host: do you feel the reporting is more critical of the challenger or the incumbent as you look at foreign policy, which might be different than other realms, because as you both have talked about, until you sit into the chair, and get the secret briefings that the governor or the average citizen does not have access to, who gets more scrutiny from the media? guest: what is so interesting about foreign policy -- this is an exciting conversation, and matthew lee and i have devoted our journalistic careers to this matter, but at the end of the day it does not register high for american voters. what is interesting about it is on this issue the mainstream
american media is probably more critical of mitt romney than it is of obama, whereas on domestic issues it is the other way around guest: i am not sure i entirely agree with -- are around. if guest: i am not sure i entirely agree with that. the president actually has a foreign policy record that can be attacked, scrutinize, complemented, copied by the next administration, and the challenger does not have that record. so, i think that the incumbent can be opened to attack. guest: what is also really interesting is in u.s. presidential elections over the last 200 years, but democratic party has really held the high
ground on foreign policy. it is usually the other way around. the situation we are in the form policy in relation to politics is almost not comfortable for mainstream media to understand. the elephant in the room is that this administration has stepped up a ubiquitous and external drone war in 9, 11 countries across the middle east, and they got osama bin laden. i assume president obama will try to play that up in monday, the debate. guest: he gave a little hint of that in his appearance on comedy central last night. host: our guests are matthew lee, state department correspondent for the associated press, and guy taylor, who covers the state department for the "washington times."
the headline today in "the washington post" -- one of the topics bob schieffer might ask about. guest: and one of the questions he is not likely to get a response from the president about because this is classified. this administration has taken a policy that george w. bush instituted, the drone strikes, and expanded it vastly beyond where it was before. host: scottsdale, arizona. allen, a republican line. caller: good morning, greta. i do believe 20% of these -- of the country believe what these gentlemen say, and they are apologist for the obama administration.
80% believe what i believe, and that is that in the libya attack is a shame that our ambassador is killed by these terrorists. we had enough time to take care of this gentleman and his staff, and it was not done. the british left. we were the only ones left. how much time had to go on that we were not going to protect them? the other foot note is that in real time they knew what was happening. they never even sent out an aircraft or a drone, or anything to attack these people, and it went on for eight hours. guest: your solution would have been to flee benghazi? that would have shown strength? caller: i think we should have put in a small army there to be
-- to be sovereign. do think i'm stupid? host: nobody thinks you're stupid. thank you for your comment. guest: put a small army in benghazi to protect a very small mission? i do not think it is feasible. you would have to do that every single and the sea around the world, and if the caller and the 80% of the world he says agree with him are willing to pay for small armies to be deployed at every u.s. diplomatic mission around the world, or at least those where there is a serious threat, maybe some administration would look at that, but i do not see the money being there. guest: with all due respect, we have to wipe the politics away from this and ask real questions, and whether the administration answers them
monday night or before the election or not, the real questions are why was security so bad? we are not talking about an occupation force or sending troops. you could make the argument that marines do not guard every embassy, and it is expensive and ridiculous to think it could be deployed affordably around the world, but why in a post-war environment, with security in such a state that there could be a bomb planted to go off weeks before this attack, and nothing was done and the ambassador was encouraged to go on. a popular ambassador, traveling around the country, why was security not there? it is a great question and we are not heard a clear answer. guest: there are definitely legitimate questions to ask about security in libya both the embassy in tripoli and the
consulate in benghazi. what i do not think anyone is suggesting, and maybe i'm wrong, and the governor romney wants to do this, is to have a small army deployed at all of these missions. i do think these are questions the administration has to answer. there was an attempt to answer some of them before the house oversight committee one weekend a half ago, or last week. i do not think they were answered there. guest: probably one of the most politically charged hearings in the last four years i would say. from both sides of the pile, the volume on the pop -- of the aisle, the volume was so high you could not care what anybody else was saying. guest: and i think we will have to see how the administration? -- answers these questions. host: questions from twitter -- what was the exact number of
security persons on duty and were they aren't? let's go to new hampshire. independent line. caller: good morning. discussing the foreign policy of president obama, i think we have to go back a little ways. since day one of his and administration he has tried to protect and shield criticism of the moslem people, the radical moslems who attacked us. he has fallen back on his early religious training as a moslem, and he is trying to help them all out. his policy is one of the appeasement and apology. host: does it matter to you that the president is a christian? caller: it matters to me that he is favoring in numerous cases
the muslim religion. host: the president has said he is a christian, to clear up a misconception. how does this play into the political game? guest: the caller might be misinterpreting a push that the president has, in fact made, which is trying to restore america's relations with the moslem world. without getting into what the president's religion is or not, which i think it's a political issue, i do not think it is correct that the president has saw to make peace with extremists that at this -- data attacked us are either on 9/11, 2001, or this past 9/11 in benghazi. what the president has tried to do, whether he has been successful or not, is reaching out to moderate muslims,
showing them that they're willing to coexist -- if they're willing to coexist with other religions and countries, america can be their friend. i do not think it is fair to argue that he has tried to appease those bad attacked us. -- those that attack us. the drone strikes have increased, and the administration killed osama bin laden. host: an opinion on twitter -- this is the age of terrorism, we should unite, not take cheap shots. ahead of the foreign policy debate, 47% favor obama, an 43% say mitt romney and who could do a better job on foreign policy. would you make of that, and guy taylor? guest: i do not want to read too
much into the poll. what is exciting is we have a live debate monday night. if the polls show anything is the viewership on a foreign policy debate, which is typically down, will hopefully be high, and people will be listening and paying attention to see which candidate, whether it is president obama or governor romney puts their foot in their mouth more. host: c-span will be covering that debate live monday night. it will be moderated by bob schieffer and be hosted in florida. thank you for joining us this morning to talk about foreign policy, matthew lee with the associated press, guy taylor with "washington times" both covering the state department. next, we will talk to jonathan turley from the george washington university law school, and later, america by
the numbers, looking at wages. we will be right back. ♪ >> so, it starts as an economic argument. men are having a harder time adapting to the economy, and women are adapting more easily. so, education and credentials -- the economy is fast changing. women seem to be getting those skills and credentials at a much faster rate than men are, and they seem to be more nimble. that filters down into our society, so i talk about how that changes marriage, our notions of fatherhood, and what men and -- can and cannot do in
families. you start to see it having a difference in our culture. >> carlson joins hanna rosin to discuss her book, "the end of men," on "after words." >> i find myself watching your old conventions and debates. and that is a great service. i have a memory of being 8 years old and watching an old richard nixon speech. for a political junkie like me, that is great. effected you focus on a wide range of public policy issues, there is something for everybody, whether you are interested in national security, housing policy, the economy. >> he watches c-span on comcast.
c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your cable provider. "washington journal" continues. host: jonathan turley is a law professor at george washington university law school. thank you for being here. you had a recent column in the "the usa today" -- end the electoral college. lay out your argument. guest: many people do not realize that the framers were divided on electing a president by popular vote. two of our founders, james madison and james wilson argued that we should elect a president, but it became a mix.
there were many framers that also liked the idea of representative democracy, to have this group of elders, this line of educated and propertied individuals making these decisions. neither of those are compelling in today's world. the most important reason is the electoral college universally produces dysfunction. ever since we put this ill- concedes institution in place, we have had these problems and they're getting worse. most countries that we associate with have some form of direct election. even vladimir putin is directly elected. hugo chavez is directly elected. in the united states, we still continue this dysfunctional and archaic system. there is no reason for it. more importantly, it reinforces the monopoly of power by the two parties.
if you get rid of the electoral college, you will not have the death star explode 4 the two parties, but you will weaken their monopoly on power. i think that is a great motivator of keeping the institution right now. host: jonathan turley, given some refresher on how the electoral college works. give us the basics. guest: 48 states apply a winner takes all approach. regardless of how close the state is, the winner gets all of the votes. what that means is they usually half of these close states, in terms of voters, are negated. when florida or other states split, literally half of the voters have their vote from the way. it makes no sense at all. two states actually do divide their electoral votes. it is better, but not great, but
better than that system. these states elect a winner takes all approach. the college does not meet in washington. it simply send in the vote to congress. those are certified. once they're in congress, you could have a challenge and january 6, if you have one house member that could challenge the most from any given state. that joint session of congress to devise into respective chambers and each vote on whether to accept that certification. it is extremely rare. those ghosts are given to congress, and then you have the stamp -- votes are given to congress, and then you have the establishment of was the president. 15 presidents have been elected with less than 50% of the vote because of the electoral
college. cleveland and wilson were elected twice without 50% of the vote. john quincy adams was elected with only 32% of the vote. that should shock the conscience. host: jonathan turley, law professor here in washington, d.c.. if you would like to join the conversation about the electoral college, here are the numbers. let's go to linda, and joining us from ohio. republican. caller: i agree with this gentleman, mr. jonathan turley, and the electoral college was instituted to help people who could not get to different areas to go to a long time ago. it is time to end it. it really is. guest: thank you.
one of the things that people do not realize is that the electoral college is essential for the two parties to maintain their monopoly, but more importantly it results in the opposite of what people suggest about the live coral college. there is an argument that's candace -- there is an argument that if you do not have an electoral college, president will not take some states seriously. the reality is they do not take some states seriously. most of the election is about florida. campaign issues dealing with immigration, those are driven by the fact that only five states really matter. these candidates have no reason to go to states for them, or those that will go to their opponents. would make no sense for obama to go to utah or my domain. utah has to wonder thousand democratic votes that were
negated -- 200,000 democratic votes that are negated every election. host: clinton, maryland. robert. democrat line. caller: how obligated is the left for college to follow the line of the majority, and secondly, if you gave all the states an equal number of electoral votes would that solve the problem? host: thank you, robert. guest: robert, first of all, there is a question of a disloyal elect their. most states have special rules in place. it does not come up in most cases. giving equal the electoral college votes does not resolve the problem because you still have winner takes all, and it results in most states be not that important. the issues that affect those
states are not considered by the candidates because they do not have to be. they will focus on colorado, florida, and a handful of other states. the best way to get a presidential candidate to consider issues around the country is to allow every vote to count the same. a vote in florida is more valuable than a vote in illinois or massachusetts, simply because of the electoral college. there is one person that has a national constituency in our government, and that is the president of the united states. he should be elected by all of the american people. he is the one office that has to represent them all, but he does not campaign for the mall. he campaigns for states that will tip the balance in the electoral college, and he also knows he does not have to get the majority of voters, which is a serious problem. if he is going to be the so- called head of the free world, he should get the majority of its least one country, this
country, and that might require a run off, but other countries do that, and it works just fine. their leaders, when they enter their service, come with this legitimacy with at least a majority of voters saying he is the person that we want to lead us for the next four years. host: jonathan turley, the author of a recent column called "end the electoral college." is a law professor at george washington university. during this on the phone to give a different perspective is senator alan simpson, former chairman on fiscal responsibility and reform. thank you for joining us. you are a supporter of the electoral college. guest: what the gentleman just said is very true. it is about votes and so on, and i would be interested in seeing his work, but you cannot plow more ground on that one and if
you are messing around in the grand canyon. go back and look at the record as to how many decades people have been trying to get rid of the electoral college. i remember particularly the work of a wonderful senator from indiana, a democrat, who said we are going to get rid of that turkey, and he started hearings just when i got the -- to the senate, 1979 and 1980, and he cranked it up. he was awfully good at it. he was a terrific guy, and a terrific friend. the testimony began to flow in. it was very simple. it said that if you get rid of the electoral college, nobody in nevada or north dakota, or wyoming, and he named all of the had to -- states that below three -- two, three,
four, five elect world votes, and said they will never see another presidential train that enters their state and the reason is they will concentrate totally on where it might have been in the electoral college i remember a testimony that said i would rather have an honest college.innesota's -- i remember a testimony that said i would rather have an honest vote in minnesota than a tombstone in chicago. nevada yesterday, in "the usa today" how the data goes goes the nation. you think anybody is going to mess around in the data is to get rid of the electoral college? -- nevada if they get rid of the electoral college? host: how do you motivate someone in states that do not have as many electoral college
votes to go out, if they're not in a key battleground state? guest: well, if you go back and look to the u.s. senate, i got the same for it the vote as brian moynihan. there is a lot of ground that has been which it the same vote as dan moynihan. -- the same vote as? moynihan. there is a lot of ground has been plowed. host: you see a way to fix the electoral college or are you find with the way it is today? guest: what changes could you make if i just said what i said? go look at the representation of wyoming or nevada against california, new york in the u.s. senate. gold with the disparities that
go with everything in america. that is the way it is. you are going to get into those things, bless you, and keep strapping, but it will not get done, not in my lifetime, of course, i am stretching a little. host: senator simpson, thank you for joining us. guest: i am back on the witness protection program with simpson- bowles. host: thank you for your time. what about the argument that small states are protected? guest: i have a huge amount of respect for senator simpson, but i have to disagree with him on this. first of all, the point made that look how great it is that nevada is getting so much attention raises the problem. the united states of america is not nevada. it is a small state.
the question is why these states tend to control presidential elections. what happens then is the insular issues of a small state are controlling the presidential debate. i also disagree that there will be nobody that votes in wyoming. frankly, the numbers do not reflect that. of course, president obama will go to nevada and wyoming if he could get the votes there. a close race like the bush-bore race, was/500,000 votes. -- was divided by 500,000 votes. they ignore most states. if we simply let americans vote, what you will see is not only president's campaigning for the whole nation and national issues, but you also see people going to the polls. right now, why you want to go to the polls as a democrat in utah?
a lot of people do not go because they rationally say their vote does not mean anything. that is a terrible thing for an american citizen. the other thing is you will see third parties that have a shot. right now, third parties find it hard to be established, particularly for presidential elections, because they know they will never get a state, because their voters know their vote will not count. if we go to a national election, you'll see a reduction of the monopoly of power by these two parties. by the way, we got rid of monopolies with the sherman act because the quality of goods fell with less competition. take a look at the people running for office, and you will see what a monopoly does. is a low quality of candidates given the fact we are given a choice of two colors, basically red and blue. s